21 December 2008

Chicago: Skylines

1. Billy Goat Tavern
2. Sears Tower
3. Millennium Park
4. Gino's East of Chicago Pizza

After a lazy morning in the hotel, giving Spud some necessary down time from all the touristing, we trundled down Michigan Avenue for lunch.

1. Billy Goat Tavern
430 North Michigan Avenue [at Lower Level] · 312 222 1525

Made famous by SNL's Belushi skit "Cheezborger, Cheezborger, no Pepsi" this place is just dripping with character.

To give you an idea of the type of service watch this ...

I understand there are other locations but finding the original is worth the trouble. Once you find 430 North Michigan, look for these stairs.

At the bottom, turn right.

and you'll see the restaurant right away.

The cheezborger was a big hit with Spud.

The surreal character of the place plus the nod to the memory of Belushi was a hit for the parents.

2. Sears Tower
233 South Wacker Drive · 312 474 0090

Needless to say going up 103 floors gives killer views.

The kid-friendly Chicago history installation on the inside wall of the observation deck is an added bonus.

3. Millennium Park
55 North Michigan Avenue · 312 742 1168

Three of my favourite things in Millennium Park:

Jay Pritzker Pavilion; another Frank Gehry masterpiece.

Cloud Gate AKA "The Bean".

"What I wanted to do in Millennium Park is make something that would engage the Chicago skyline…so that one will see the clouds kind of floating in, with those very tall buildings reflected in the work. And then, since it is in the form of a gate, the participant, the viewer, will be able to enter into this very deep chamber that does, in a way, the same thing to one's reflection as the exterior of the piece is doing to the reflection of the city around."
-Anish Kapoor, sculptor

Crown Fountain

Two towers features two of 1000 Chicago faces at any given time, each with varying facial expressions.

In the summer it's a fountain/water park area.

Check out Millennium Park's site to find out what special events are going on. We took in a little skate at the outdoor McCormick Tribune Ice Rink [which is open until March this year], beside the Bean. If you have your own skates, bring 'em, and you will avoid long skate rental line-ups.

We also took in a little carolling and hot chocolate.

4. Gino's East of Chicago Pizza
162 East Superior Street · 312 266 3337

Every visit to Chicago should include a traditional deep dish pizza. We were a little skeptical as to how much we would enjoy such fare but were pleasantly surprised with Gino's. The crust, not at all greasy, is like a corn biscuit. Very nice.